SBD/January 31, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bud Light Hotel Seen As One Of The Places To Be During Super Bowl Week

Upwards of 3,000 guests were expected on the ship during Super Bowl week
Bud Light as part of its Super Bowl XLVIII hospitality efforts decided to take over the Norwegian Cruise Line Getaway and "rebrand it the Bud Light Hotel," according to Tom De Poto of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The ship can "accommodate more than 4,000 guests, or about 10 times as many as previous Bud Light brick-and-mortar Super Bowl hotels." A Bud Light spokesperson said that "'upwards of 3,000' guests were expected on board this weekend," and some started arriving Wednesday night. Passengers are the "guests of Bud Light, ranging from executives, distributors and others the company does business with." But there also will be a "few lucky winners of a Bud Light contest." A Bud Light spokesperson said that it "took 1,500 man hours to give the ship a Bud Light makeover, from the outside hull to the elevator doors to the shampoo bottles in the cabin showers." Even the chandelier in the main lobby "looks like Bud Light bottles spiraling downward." Officials "declined to say how much it cost to take over a ship and rebrand it." De Poto notes Bud Light festivities "aren’t limited to onboard activities." Execs have "set up two tents nearby" along with a "center across the street for concerts featuring The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons and others" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/31). A-B VP/Entertainment & Sports Marketing Mike Sundet said, "We want people to really feel a truly immersive Bud Light experience" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).

CHECKING IN
: Bud Light Brands VP Rob McCarthy detailed the decision to take over the cruise show and said, "Among many ideas this crazy one came up, 'Why don't we get the biggest cruise ship in the world, park it in the harbor beside the USS Intrepid museum and build an amazing event space." McCarthy added this is the fifth year for the Bud Light Hotel, but it was "never this big." CNBC's Simon Hobbs said to McCarthy, "You're branding it a place where lucky customers will end up as a result of checking their bar codes. I imagine there will be an awful lot of Anheuser-Busch executives on board here. What's the split?" McCarthy said, "There are a lot of Anheuser-Busch guests, so a lot of our retailers are here. We do have consumer winners that have checked their bar codes and won trips through radio stations, online." Hobbs: "It's obviously part of a huge campaign for you" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 1/30).
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